The rise of 'nomadic sabbaticals’ – will family gap years become the new normal?

2018-12-25 12:00 - Marisa Crous
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Parents giving their kids piggybacks, waist up, cl

(PHOTO: iStock)

Working remotely, travelling the world and educating your children along the way might become the ultimate freelance gig in years to come. 

Two years ago, a local family made quite a buzz for selling all their belongings and setting off on a family travel adventure around South Africa. 

READ: Local family decides to sell-up, home-school and tour SA! 

Today, there are many Instagram accounts dedicated to family travel. Not just for a week or two holidays, but families (often two parents with a few small children) pack up and leave all behind for an entire year or even more, in search of an alternative family-life experience. 

The parents work remotely while home-schooling the kids as they hop from destination to destination. And what can be more educational than travelling? And with the rise in popularity of this sort of family travel, the term ‘edventure’ was coined.

CN Traveller says that its estimated that by 2020 around 50% of the UK and USA workforce will be freelance.  And in 2017, about 40% more children were home-schooled in these countries than in 2014.

This predicts a trend of families a) spending more time together and b) being allowed the freedom to go on more adventures as office hours simply no longer apply. 

You get to manage your time. 

But as many of us know, a lot is out of our control. And on the road, things are much less predictable than at home.

This modern-day escapism might not be as picture-perfect as it seems on Instagram. Smiling children, beach adventures and interactions with monks in Bhutan. It all seems so effortless. But travelling with children comes with its own challenges, especially with regards to things like safety – think mosquitoes, tropical diseases and wild city traffic. 

READ: Sanbona family safari: A lesson in all manner of animal poop, they're unlikely to forget

However, we also know that for many people the unpredictability is exactly why they set out on such adventures. To learn and grow within a space that's not cushy or suburban.

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